Mary Magdalene, Saint


Mary Magdalene, Saint
flourished 1st century, Palestine; feast day July 22

Follower of Jesus and the first person to see the resurrected Christ.

According to Luke 8:2 and Mark 16:9, Jesus cleansed her of seven demons. She accompanied him in Galilee, and she witnessed his Crucifixion and burial. On Easter morning she went with two other women to anoint the corpse, but the tomb was empty. Christ later appeared to her and instructed her to tell the Apostles that he was ascending to God. Popular tradition has long associated her with the repentant prostitute who anointed Christ's feet.

* * *

▪ disciple of Jesus
also called  Mary of Magdala 
flourished 1st century AD, Palestine; feast day July 22
 
 one of Jesus (Jesus Christ)' most celebrated disciples, famous, according to Mark 16:9–10 and John 20:14–17, for being the first person to see the resurrected Christ.

      The unchallenged facts about her life establish that Jesus cleansed her of seven demons (Luke 8:2 and Mark 16:9), probably implying that he cured her of a physical disorder rather than the popular notion that he freed her of sins. She was one of the women who accompanied and aided Jesus in Galilee (Luke 8:1–2), and all four canonical Gospels attest that she witnessed Jesus' crucifixion and burial; John 19:25–26 further notes that she stood by the cross, near the Virgin Mary and the unidentified Apostle whom Jesus loved. Having seen where Jesus was buried (Mark 15:47), she went with two other women on Easter morning to the tomb to anoint the corpse. Finding the tomb empty, Mary ran to the disciples. She returned with St. Peter, who, astonished, left her. Christ then appeared to Mary and, according to John 20:17, instructed her to tell the Apostles that he was ascending to God.

      The Gospels reveal her to be of practical character. Origen and other early textual interpreters usually viewed her as distinct from the mystical Mary of Bethany, who anointed Jesus' feet and wiped them with her hair (John 12:3–7), and from the penitent woman whose sins Jesus pardoned for anointing him in a like fashion (Luke 7:37–48). The Eastern Church also distinguishes between the three, but after they were identified as one and the same by Pope St. Gregory I the Great, Mary Magdalene's cult flourished in the West. This identification has since been challenged, and modern scholars feel that the three women are distinct.

      Gnostics, pre-Christians and early Christians who believed that matter is evil and redemption is attained by an enlightened elite through faith alone, regarded her as a medium of secret revelation, so described in their Gospel of Mary, Gospel of Philip, and Pistis Sophia. According to Eastern tradition, she accompanied St. John the Evangelist to Ephesus (near modern Selçuk, Tur.), where she died and was buried. French tradition spuriously claims that she evangelized Provence (now southeastern France) and spent her last 30 years in an Alpine cavern. Medieval legend relates that she was John's wife.

Additional Reading
Susan Haskins, Mary Magdalen: Myth and Metaphor (1993), traces the development of the myth of Magdalen.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Mary Magdalene — This article is about the disciple of Jesus. For other uses, see Mary Magdalene (disambiguation). Mary Magdalene Mary Magdalene at the foot of the Cross, mourning for the dead Christ West: Penitent East …   Wikipedia

  • Mary Magdalene (Sandys) — Mary Magdalene Artist Anthony Frederick Augustus Sandys Year ca. 1858 60 Type Oil on panel Dimensions 33.5 cm × 28 cm (13 1/4 in × 11 …   Wikipedia

  • Mary Magdalene (disambiguation) — Mary Magdalena can refer to: Mary Magdalene, the disciple of Jesus Magdalena de Pazzi (1566–1607), saint of the Catholic Church Archduchess Maria Magdalena of Austria (1589–1631) Archduchess Maria Magdalena of Austria (1689–1743) Friedrich Hebbel …   Wikipedia

  • Mary Magdalene — noun sinful woman Jesus healed of evil spirits; she became a follower of Jesus (Freq. 1) • Syn: ↑St. Mary Magdalene, ↑Mary Magdalen, ↑St. Mary Magdalen • Instance Hypernyms: ↑sinner, ↑evildoer, ↑saint …   Useful english dictionary

  • Mary Magdalene de’ Pazzi — (1566–1607)    Saint and Mystic.    Mary Magdalene was a member of the Carmelite Convent in Florence. She is remembered for her intense spiritual experience. She suffered both spiritual desolation and periods of ecstasy and she endured long… …   Who’s Who in Christianity

  • Mary Magdalene — Mary Mag|da|le|ne, Saint in the New Testament of the Bible, a woman who Jesus cured. She attended Jesus s ↑crucifixion and was the first person to see him when he returned to life after his death. She is usually thought to be the same woman as… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Mary Magdalene — (first century)    Disciple and Saint.    Mary is mentioned in luke’s Gospel as someone from whom seven devils had been exorcised. She witnessed Jesus’s death on the cross and she was the first to discover that his tomb was empty on Easter… …   Who’s Who in Christianity

  • Martha and Mary Magdalene (Caravaggio) — Martha and Mary Magdalene Artist Caravaggio Year c. 1598 Type Oil on canvas Dimensions 100 cm × 134.5 cm (39 in × 53.0 in) Location …   Wikipedia

  • Church of St. Mary Magdalene (Toronto) — Church of St. Mary Magdalene The 2006 Patronal Feast at St. Mary Magdalene s Denomination Anglican Church of Canada Churchmanship Anglo Catholic Website …   Wikipedia

  • St Mary Magdalene's Church, Croome D'Abitot — St Mary Magdalene s Church, Croome D Abitot, from the northwest …   Wikipedia